HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Modi gets going, babus asked to list what went wrong

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 20, 2014
First Published: 00:15 IST(20/5/2014) | Last Updated: 13:39 IST(20/5/2014)

He may not have been formally appointed the Prime Minister yet but Narendra Modi wants to hit the ground running. At the behest of the new leadership, all secretaries of the government on Monday were asked to furnish their action plan for the next five years.

Significantly, cabinet secretary Ajit Seth has asked all central secretaries to furnish—in a point format — “what in your view shouldn’t have been done” by the Centre in the past few years. Seth also wants to know from top babus what the “four or five practical goals/ achievements” are that can be pursued “for the next five years”, if “freedom is given” to the bureaucrats.

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The outgoing cabinet secretary’s letter, said sources, followed a few rounds of informal meetings with the BJP political leadership and top bureaucracy. The feedback request comes amid hectic parleys in the BJP camp over government formation and allocation of ministries. Modi led the BJP to a huge victory in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls, with the party securing 282 seats and a single-party majority for the first time in 30 years.

Secretaries have been asked to furnish two additional details: “Three or four top achievements” of the ministry in the last 10 years and the “gap between the actual result and the intended plan”. The secretaries were also asked to send their replies quickly.

Last month, PM’s principal secretary Pulok Chatterji had asked different secretaries to be ready to provide details of their respective ministries’ work on short notice, official sources said. But Seth’s Monday communication goes beyond a mere feel-good feedback on achievements.

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